Sky Bet League One: Coventry City move a step closer to a return to the Ricoh Arena
Last Updated: 08/08/14 2:05pm
Coventry City may have moved a step closer to a return to the Ricoh Arena after the Football League made a ruling in their favour in an argument with creditors.
Coventry were ordered to pay almost £500,000 to main creditor Arena Coventry Limited within the next seven days by the Football League.
The governing body held a board meeting on Thursday to discuss the matter of unpaid dividend payments from the Sky Blues' period in administration last season after the League One club had sought a reduction to the £600,000 figure.
They felt a previous payment of £300,000 to ACL, whose dispute with the club led to the Sky Blues playing their home matches at Northampton's Sixfields Stadium last year, should have been taken into account along with further costs incurred during the liquidation of the club's old operating company.
The Football League upheld the argument over new costs but rejected the issue regarding the previous payment.
Therefore, the Sky Blues must now pay ACL £471,192 by August 14.
The Football League's chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "This has been a complex and unwelcome disagreement within a wider, more significant dispute. By concluding this matter, we can now allow all parties to concentrate on the more important issue of getting Coventry City playing its matches back in Coventry at the earliest opportunity."
Sky Blues chief executive Tim Fisher is happy that the main stumbling block over the club's potential return to playing their home games in Coventry can be overcome.
He said in a statement: "Yesterday, the board of the Football League made its decision on how much the club should pay to ACL in respect of the dividend payments from Coventry City Football Club's period in administration.
"We know that ACL saw the payment of this money as a barrier to agreeing terms to get the club back to Coventry. We can today put this obstacle behind us and get down to the business of negotiating a return to Ricoh Arena until we can own our own stadium.
"As we have said all along we want what is best for the long term future success of Coventry City FC. That means our job is to get the club back to Coventry, which is something every single supporter wants to see, whilst ensuring the financial stability of the club.
"A key element is for us to agree terms that are driven by Financial Fair Play, so that Steven Pressley can invest match day revenues in talent on the pitch."